Miniatura is the place where I meet the people I care about. This weekend I met these people.
I met a mother and daughter who share the hobby and bring each other to the show and enjoy every minute of it.
I met an exhibitor whose hair had suddenly turned bright red and I met the collector who suggested she did it and the result was fabulous.
I met an exhibitor who had travelled from America but was concerned about the lady who used to help me on my stand.
I met a sister who wasn’t really a miniaturist but has been sent to the show by her sister who lives a long way away to suss out the show and report back. Not only did the sister make time during the show to sit down, phone her sister and tell her all about it, she bought a little doll to dress as a surprise for her sister when she next sees her.
I met a good son who bought a picture for his mother and saw a photograph of the wonderful house it is going to live in.
I saw umpteen marvellous husbands, whose hobby this is not, patiently trailing round after their shopping wives, carrying all the bags.
I met a worker in the café who said: Aaah after ever sentence anyone said because she hadn’t encountered the hobby before and thought it was lovely.
I met a beautiful mother, on mother’s day, whose two daughters had rejected her because they had learned from bad influences on the internet that to grow up you need to reject your parents. Worse, they were keeping her from her little grandson. Her day out with her kind and puzzled husband was a distraction and a chance to look at the perfect miniature world you can create for yourself, instead of the one we really live in.
I met several ex-exhibitors, who said they had finished with the show but couldn’t keep away, a few came for a chat and one had turned back into an exhibitor but of a different kind.
I met many doll collectors and enthusiasts, many of them keen to tell me about dolls of mine they had rehomed and how the dolls were doing.
I met new exhibitors, amazed to be there and trying hard to keep up. I met one family, visiting the show for the first time and utterly overwhelmed. I knew they were because they kept saying: We are overwhelmed by it all.
I met many visitors who had come with someone who had just wandered off, entranced.
I met numerous people who wanted everything.
I met children from babies in arms to ten years old being very well behaved indeed with good parents taking them for a lovely day out to find a nice present for Mummy.
I met the miniaturists, the people I care about with the imperfect lives and the difficult relationships, using an absorbing and exacting hobby to put the world to rights in a way that makes them feel better but doesn’t hurt anyone else.
I met numerous people who said the venue was lovely, the hall was exactly right, the parking was perfect and the food was good.
And I met so many people that said my dolls were different from anything else that I suspect they may be art after all.
And I met people venturing out in a relaxed way after the worry of the pandemic, happy to be in a hall full of like-minded hobbyists, having the loveliest day out you can have.
I met people who Miniatura makes happy, the way it has made me, for thirty years.